Carpetbaggers: Of Moo And Cow

Last week, we looked at a troika of “gun rights” groups and their singular and plural records.

Last Tuesday, we showed you a fundraising letter for a group called Minnesota Gun Rights (MGR) that Minnesota Second Amendment activists have been getting.  In the letter – from “Minnesota Gun Rights” executive director Chris Dorr – the sky will fall if the reader doesn’t support the group.

Wednesday, we got a perspective from Iowa on the effectiveness of the Iowa Gun Owners (IGO), run by Aaron Dorr, the brother of MGR’s Executive Director – or, according to an Iowa legislator who’s seen it first hand, the lack of effectiveness.

Thursday we looked at the ties between the Dorr brothers and the scandal that rocked the Michele Bachmann campaign in Iowa – and to the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR), a group that earned a reputation for having a big bark but not much bite for the relative impotence of its battle against the anti-rights onslaught in Colorado last session.  We also noted that “” is actually registered in Van Meter Iowa.

Friday, we showed that an alarmist fund-raising letter aimed at Minnesotans from the NAGR’s Dudley Brown, that was wrong on nearly every possible point – almost too devoid of fact to have come from Heather Martens.

And today?

More on that in a moment.

In Defense:  Last week, a local Libertarian activist well-known for his involvement in the “Ron Paul” clicque takeover of parts of the MN GOP in 2012 posted the following on his Facebook page.  I won’t name the activist here; let’s call him “Paul Robertson” just to avoid confusion.

I’m adding emphasis:

I have met Chris Dorr and and have worked some of the people helping him on projects in the state. A recent hit piece from a Minnesota establishment blogger noted the connection Chris has to the National Association for Gun Rights.

I’m an “establishment blogger?”

Who knew?

I digress:

NAGR operations chief Dudley Brown is an effective political operative who, an as RNC Rules Committeemember, was a leader at the national convention fighting the establishment power grab. One gets onto the RNC Rules committee by earning the support of entire state and CD conventions, something that is impossible for sham groups to do.

And there’s the point, right there.

Forget for a moment that “Mr. Robertson” is referring to Mr. Brown’s role in the picayune rules battle at the last Republican National Convention that pitted “the establishment” against the thin coterie of Ron Paul delegates (a rules change I oppose, for what very little it’s worth).

The two responses to this are:

  1. So What?:   The most we can take from “Mr. Robertson’s” statement is that Mr. Brown can organize caucusees into a group that creates a ruckus to no real immediate effect.
  2. That’s What!:  Badda bing.  Re-read #1.

In party politics as well as gun politics, Dudley Brown of the National Association for Gun Rights would seem – by his record, even as emphasized by his local supporter, the pseudonymic “Mr. Robertson” – to be about making the big, “my way or the highway” policy pronouncements that drum up much noise but signify little-to-nothing.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with noise.  And Minnesota’s current gun-rights groups – MN-RKBA, GOCRA, and even the NRA (which for the first time in my 25 years of watching the issue in this state is finally starting to take an active role at the Capitol) create plenty of it.  Over this past session, they put thousands of people into meeting rooms, and mobilized tens of thousands of phone calls, emails and letters.  Minnesota’s legislators know where the people of Minnesota stand on the issue – which is why even though the DFL controls the legislature and the governor’s office, and their financial supporters are buying support in the mainstream media, the anti-rights agenda was humiliated this past session.

But there needs to be more than just noise.  If a group can’t deliver results at the Capitol in terms of bad policy shot down and good policy enacted, then why support them?

Minnesota’s gun rights groups – NRA, GOCRA/GOAL, MN-RKBA and the rest – have a record of not just making noise, but winning battles.  Of not just getting people riled up, but getting them focused in a direction that, in good times, expands the human right of self-defense.  Never forget – the battle for “shall issue” carry permitting lasted 10 years, from 1995 to 2005.  The goal was achieved not just by getting people riled up – but by focusing all that passion on results.  And frequently needing to do it against adversity; remember, the DFL controlled the legislature before 2002, and have held at least one chamber for all but two years in recent memory.  And we’ve had exactly eight years of conservative-enough governor in the past thirty (forget about Jesse Ventura).

The Challenge:   But there’s certainly a market for groups in any facet of politics, including Gun Rights, that lead with “death or glory”; “our way or the highway”.  Gun Owners of America (GOA) split off from the NRA 20-odd years ago because they thought the NRA wasn’t activist enough.  And they were right.  And the exodus of members concerned with gun rights spurred the NRA to more, more effective political activism.

But hard-line as they are, the GOA has actually had an effect on politics.  They’ve done things; mobilized voters, won some battles through their own lobbying and activism and shoe leather.

I’m not going to tell you what to think about “Minnesota Gun Rights”, the group we met last Tuesday via its alarmed-sounding fund-raising letter to Minnesota gun owners.

I am going to tell you to consider the evidence;

  • “Minnesota Gun Rights” (MGR) is tightly related to “Iowa Gun Owners” – their directors are brothers, and both groups’ websites are registered in Iowa (here’s MGR, here’s IGO)
  • As related by Iowa state representative Matt Windschitl – a pro-gun legislator – IGO has a record of being utterly useless in actually passing legislation, has actually hampered the passage of useful legislation, and claims credit for passing legislation in which they were utterly uninvolved.   You don’t have to believe me – listen to him yourself.
  • The Dorr brothers were intimately involved in the scandal that has dogged Representative Bachmann – the payment-for-endorsement scandal that led to the resignation of an Iowa state Senator.  So someday if Chris Dorr testifies in front of the Public Safety committee, you think Doug Grow (of the Joyce-Foundation-sponsored MinnPost) won’t bring that up to discredit all gun rights advocates?   You think “Protect Minnesota’s” new PR guy Richard Carlbom won’t dangle that factoid in front of Tom Scheck and Pat Kessler?
  • Both the Dorrs are closely involved with the “National Association for Gun Rights”, a group run by Dudley Brown.  NAGR – like Brown and the Dorrs – are closely aligned with the Ron Paul camp; that’s not a bad thing by itself, necessarily.  But it does tip you off to their “all or nothing” approach.   And whatever their political allegiance, while NAGR is long on uncompromising rhetoric, when it comes to the day to day politics of winning the legislative battle for our rights, their record gives the appearance of being all moo and no cow, or worse (to say nothing of willing to misrepresent current events and politicians’ positions here in Minnesota).

Let me be clear here, personally – when it comes to fighting the anti-rights orcs, as far as I’m concerned we should let a thousand lights shine.

But Iowa Gun Owners and the NAGR would seem to have a record of underdelivering on its overpromised rhetoric.  And MGR has no record at all, other than of association with the IGO and NAGR.

Ask yourself – should your hard-earned money be going to a run rights group that has an actual record of delivering people, votes, and policy?  Minnesota already has several of those.  We could use more – as many as it takes to get every possible Minnesota shooter to the polls, and toss every possible orc out of the Legislature and the Governor’s office.

Is there any evidence that Minnesota Gun Rights, Iowa Gun Owners or the National Association for Gun Rights have done anything documentably useful?  Bills passed (through their efforts)?  Lawsuits won?  Chambers packed?  Legislators elected?

I’m waiting to see it.

But it’s your call.

Carpetbaggers: Not Of This World

Tuesday, we showed you a fundraising letter for a group called Minnesota Gun Rights (MGR) that Minnesota Second Amendment activists have been getting.

Wednesday, we got a perspective from Iowa on the effectivess of the Iowa Gun Owners (IGO), run by the brother of MGR’s Executive Director.

Yesterday, we looked at the ties between the Dorr brothers, Aaron (of the IGO) and Chris (of MGR) to the scandal that rocked the Michele Bachmann campaign in Iowa – and to the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR).  We also noted that “” is actually registered in Van Meter Iowa. 

We’re going to look more into the NAGR today.

Interpretations:  Last year, Minnesota Second Amendment activists hailing from a variety of groups got together and pulled off an amazing feat; in a state government completely controlled not only by Democrats, but dominated by extremist, gun-hating Metrocrats, managed to completely shut down a concerted anti-Second Amendment attack, in the wake of one of the most horrific school massacres since the 1920s.

It took a lot of work; painstaking mobilization of thousands of activists, fundraising, intensive lobbying of legislators, communications both on Capitol Hill and all across Minnesota.

Most of all, it took coalition-building.  Gun rights advocates from all groups had to build working relationships with legislators from the famously gun-unfriendly DFL, because – in case you missed in the first time – the DFL had complete control of the legislature and the Governor’s office.

Remember – the DFL started with a raft of bills; expanded gun-free zones, magazine restrictions, bans on weapons that looked cosmetically “assault”-y, handing control of carry permit applications over to the police (who unlike the sheriff do not answer to voters, ever), and a good half a dozen other noxious provisions.

Minnesota’s Second Amendment community had to get legislators on both sides of the aisle to agree to push back against the gun grab bills.

Remember – if Minnesota Democrats had merely closed ranks behind the Metrocrat hamsters that control most of the party’s agenda, today Minnesota’s gun laws would look like New York State, Colorado or California.

Politics – especially when you’re in a minority – is always a matter of give and take.  And yet Minnesota’s Second Amendment movement gave much worse than it got – in large part because of the tsunami of popular support they mustered, week in week out, and kept in legislators’ faces.

Here’s the important part:  the victory (and it was a victory) was won not by “stating a principle”, turning off the phone and chanting like a robot.  It was won by knowing the principle, (“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”) and fighting a sharp, well-organized political battle to build a diverse coalition that would, via acceptable compromises, ensure the actual policy that got enacted didn’t violate the principle, if not reinforcing it. 

And in a session where the worst was not only possible, but in terms of absolute political numbers very, very likely, the mainstream Second Amendment movement won a victory.  No, not a “victory” in the sense that we dragged Heather Martens and Michael Bloomberg onto the deck of the USS MIssouri to sign articles of surrender.  More like Keith Park winning the Battle of Britain.

Which, whether your opponent controls all of Europe or all of the apparatus of Minnesota government, is a win. 

Alternate Reality:  Dudley Brown is in charge of the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR).  The group bills itself as the conservative alternative to the NRA, which it regards as squishy moderates and accomodationists.  The group is closely tied with the Iowa Gun Owners (IGO) group, which we showed yesterday is closely tied with Minnesota Gun Rights (MGR).

And I think it’d be fair to sum up NAGR’s philosophy is “better to lose a symbolic battle for perfection than win battle for good if imperfect policy”. 

It’s a philosophy shared by not a few very ideological activists – pro-lifers, pro-abortionists, Libertarians, you name it. 

And during Minnesota’s gun debate last session, Brown sent an email to his group’s supporters in Minnesota about the Hillstrom gun bill – which I called “The Good Gun Bill” on this blog, because it focused on criminals and bad behavior, rather than attacking the law-abiding gun owner (which is something many Second Amendment supporters call “the goal”). 

Here’s the text of the bills in both the Senate and the House.  You be the judge.

I’ll include the email from Dudley Brown in its entirety below the fold – along with some commentary where called for.

Continue reading

Carpetbaggers: In The Out Dorr

On Tuesday, we showed you a fundraising appeal from a group, “Minnesota Gun Rights” (MGR).  MGR is making an entry into the Minnesota Second Amendment battle.

Yesterday, we talked with an Iowa State Representative, Matt Windschitl, who pointed out that a group called the “Iowa Gun Owners” (IGO) had been talking big talk, but not delivering much – indeed, making things worse in terms of practical, day-to-day pro-Second-Amendment legislation.

As Representative Windschitl pointed out, the leader of IGO was an Aaron Dorr.

And as we saw from the fundraising letter, the Executive Director of MGR is Chris Dorr.

Who are the Dorrs?

To introduce the Dorrs and their group, we’ll start in the Minnesota Sixth Congressional District.

Your Niche Is On My List:  Few outside the world of professional and semi-pro wonkery really understood the scandal involving Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Iowa state senator Ted Sorenson.  There were allegations of payments to support Bachmann (and Ron Paul).  Eventually, the allegations led to the Iowa Senate Ethics committee investigating Sorenson, and finally his resignation from the Senate.

Aaron Dorr – the leader of the IGO – was, according to this piece in the Iowa Republican, intimately involved in the deal to buy Sorenson’s support away from Bachmann and for Ron Paul.  I’ll add some emphasis:

New information has been provided to that details the courting of Sorenson by the Paul campaign, which began in October 2011, long before his public endorsement of Congressman Ron Paul on December 28, 2011.  The documents also show that Sorenson was negotiating with Ron Paul’s national campaign chairman, Jesse Benton, who is now running Mitch McConnell’s 2014 re-election campaign in Kentucky, and John Tate, Paul’s 2012 campaign manager.

Also involved in the elaborate scheme to persuade Sorenson to defect from Bachmann to Paul is Aaron Dorr, the Executive Director of Iowa Gun Owners Association.  Dorr served as an early negotiator between Sorenson and the Paul campaign.  It was Dorr who drafted a three-page memo outlining Sorenson’s financial demands to get him to jump ship from the Bachmann campaign.  This memo not only discloses the financial compensation Sorenson sought to obtain, but also details his financial agreement with Bachmann.

In addition to the alleged payoffs, Bachmann’s angle involved allegations of stolen mailing list of Iowa homeschoolers,  provided to the Bachmann campaign by – according to the Strib – Chris Dorr was the one who nabbed the mailing list:

In a recent affidavit, [here] Sorenson aide Christopher Dorr acknowledged going into Heki’s office and downloading a database from her computer in the belief that it was a campaign e-mail list. “The office maintained an open environment,” he said. “There was never a need for stealth activity.”

Dorr’s account, however, contradicts a 2012 affidavit from former Bachmann campaign manager Eric Woolson, who said Sorenson told him “we took ” the list and that those involved “stood watch” while Heki was out of the office.

Campaign insiders have suggested that the NICHE list was important to help Bachmann check the momentum of GOP rival Rick Santorum, who was making inroads with Christian conservatives on his way to winning the Iowa caucuses.

Waldron, who has also given an account to investigators, said he told Bachmann about the incident on December 18, 2012, but that the campaign took no action against Sorenson, who later defected to the Ron Paul campaign.

Both of the Dorrs, by the way, are the sons of longtime Iowa political consultant Paul Dorr, who in all honesty I need to point out is not only a scorched-earth political absolutist, but the winner of a lawsuit that is very important for gun owners – and especially skeptics of gun owners’ “slippery slope” – to be familiar with.   The elder Dorr is a longtime Liberty activist.

So – who are the Dorrs – leaders of the Iowa Gun Owners (Aaron) and Minnesota Gun Rights (Chris)?  You be the judge.

The Faint Smell Of Scorched Earth:  One more thing – the Iowa Gun Owners is closely affiliated with the National Association of Gun Rights (NAGR), a national group led by Dudley Brown.  NAGR posits itself as a conservative counterpart to the National Rifle Association, which it constantly portrays as a bunch of squishy, anti-gun accomodationists – rhetoric very similar to that used in Chris Dorr’s fundraising letter, which Representative Windschitl noted looks nearly identical to NAGR’s fundraising boilerplate.

NAGR seems to spend as much time fighting the NRA as they do the gun-grabbers.

And – like the IGO’s counterproductive grandstanding that Rep. Windschitl noted yesterday – when it comes to the politics involved in actually getting legislation passed that actually protects gun owners and the Second Amendment, they can be frightfully amateurist.

How does this relate to Minnesota, and the MGR fundraising letter we talked about on Tuesday?

More tomorrow.

I Mix Them Up Myself:  By the way – as one might expect, the “Iowa Gun Owners” website is registered in Iowa.

And so is the site for Minnesota Gun Rights; Chris Dorr registered the site in Van Meter, Iowa.

Carpetbaggers: All Or Nothing, And Nothing

Yesterday, we discussed a package that Minnesota gun rights activists have been receiving from a group calling itself “Minnesota Gun Rights”. 

I ran a bit of video from Representative Matt Windschitl, running down a group called the “Iowa Gun Owners”.

It was a pretty acerbic video. And it opened up some questions; what was the argument about? Who did what to whom?

And who are “Iowa Gun Owners”?

Blown Up: I called Representative Windschitl yesterday.  We talked for about a half hour.  The keystone of the conversation was an incident in the Iowa legislature in 2011.  As Windschitl relates, the GOP caucus was pushing a bill in both chambers to allow combat veterans who’d suffered from PTSD, and had that notification put into the national NICS databases (disqualifying them from gun purchases) an avenue to get their rights restored. 

There had been, earlier in the session, a debate about introducing “Alaska Carry” – legalizing carry without a permit, as in Alaska, Vermont and Arizona – and/or “Constitutional Carry” (making carry laws a part of the Constitution) in Iowa.  The bill had died…

…but the measure to restore veterans’ rights was alive and well, and had passed the Senate.   All it needed was to pass the House. 

Said Windschitl, “we took months to get everyone in on it.  The NRA, Aaron Dorr (leader of Iowa Gun Owners) – we were going to write some bridge language [to make the bill mesh with the Senate version for easy passage].

Then, says Windschitl, “an hour before the final debate on the bill [to restore veterans’ rights], a [junior GOP rep and IGO supporter] intorduced a “kill all” amendment reintroducing “Constitutional Carry”. 

The Speaker and the legislator spent hours on procedural maneuvering – attempts to suspend the rules and other parliamentary shenanigans, all of which failed. 

As did the prospects for either restoring veterans’ rights and “Constitutional Carry”, in that session. 

“It killed the bill”, said Windschitl. 

Came On Strong:  Windschitl – who describes himself as a strong Second Amendment legislator, and his record supports the claim – recalls first hearing about Iowa Gun Owners. 

“When I saw my first letter, I thought “all right”.  At that time, the NRA had been pretty much absent from Iowa”.  Windschitl noted that IGO’s tough rhetoric was attractive to legislators who wanted to mobilize some serious muscle to fight for gun rights in Iowa – a state that was very late to the table in liberalizing gun laws. 

But the honeymoon was short-lived, said Windschitl; “I saw all kinds of representatives get taken in – and get burned”. 

The  problem – one of the problems, anyway – was all that tough rhetoric meant exactly that; if they didn’t get everything they wanted, they wanted nothing.  If you supported them 99%, it was the same as opposing them. 

Windschitl isn’t the only one to notice this.  The left-leaning “Bleeding Heartland” blog, in a piece written by “DesmoinesDem”, notes (with emphasis added by me):

 Founded in 2009, Iowa Gun Owners is quick to bash Republicans and other groups it considers unprincipled. Its leaders have even labeled GOP State Representative Clel Baudler, a member of the National Rifle Association’s board, as “notoriously anti-gun.” How far out there do you have to be to consider the NRA anti-gun? Iowa Gun Owners refuses to get involved in supporting gun legislation that supposedly doesn’t go far enough in protecting the Second Amendment.

Windschitl – with a long record as a Second Amendment torch-carrier – notes that Iowa Gun Owners have attacked him.  “It’s like any hint of compromise means you’re out of the club!”.

And Nothing At All:  Of course, IGO isn’t the only group in politics that considers any effort focused less than 100% on principle as no effort at all.  It’s satisfying rhetoric, of course – but it also means that any time you don’t have absolute control of the legislature, you get nothing you want passed into law to form actual policy. 

Like losing the restoration of Second Amendment rights for veterans, over a doomed attempt to get a “Constitutional Carry” provision that was not going to pass under any circumstances. 

There are times, especially in politics, where perfect truly is the enemy of good enough. 

But for that to be an issue, you have to actually be trying for either. 

With that in mind, let’s go back to the video of Representative Windschitl from yesterday:

Here’s the transcript of the video:

“This morning I saw an email from a so-called Second Amendment organization. That organization, in a roundabout way, was trying to take credit for helping to get this [pro Second Amendment] bill to the floor and working it through the process. It’s not the first time this organization has done that. I want to be clear to Iowans – I want to be clear to anyone that’s watching this video right now; that organization’s executive director is Aaron Dorr; he’s the executive director of Iowa Gun Owners. Here’s the message; he did not lift a single finger to move this [pro second amendment] legislation forward. In fact, he never even chose to register on the original house file, House File 81. And he did not choose to register on this [pro second amendment] legislation before us now. The organizations that have brought this legislation to us today, to protect Iowans, are the National Rifle Association, the Iowa Firearms Coalition, the Iowa State Sheriffs and Deputies Association, and the Iowa Police Association. Those are the organizations that have spent time and effort to make sure we’re doing right by Iowans. So for those Iowans out there who have been getting these deceptive, misleading emails, rest assured – we are doing your business in an up front, honest manner…

 What happened there?

Windschitl told me the clip was “about a bill that would have made carry permit data private information, to prevent newspapers from  publishing the names of people with permits”. 

“There was no contact from Iowa Gun Owners on the bill.  No support at all”.   The newspapers – especially the Des Moines Register  – were pushing to stop the bill; newspapers love harassing the law-abiding gun owner.  Still, as the vote drew near, things were looking good.  The GOP caucus and the various other Second Amendment groups had the votes.  The bill was going to pass.

The night before the final vote on the bill, Windschitl was directed to a posting on the IGO Facebook page; “The Iowa Gun Owners took credit for the bill!” 

The next morning, the Speaker of the House – Kraig Paulsen, another Second Amendment stalwart – told Windschitl “you have the bully pulpit”, in Windschitl’s words.  

The results?  Well, you’ve seen the video.

Asked who were his points of contact from the Iowa Gun Owners, Windschitl responded “I worked with Aaron and Chris Dorr”.

Aaron Dorr, of course, is the president of Iowa Gun Owners.

Chris is Aaron’s brother.  And he’s the one whose signature is on the letter we talked about yesterday, sent to Minnesota gun owners on behalf of “Minnesota Gun Rights”

More about the Dorrs – and their two organizations – tomorrow.


There are a lot of Second Amendment groups. .

Some – the NRA, the GOA, the Second Amendment Foundation – are big national groups that’ve been fighting the good fight for decades.

Others are laser-focused on state-level Second Amendment issues.



Gun control is a big issue these days.

Oh, not with most of the American people, it isn’t.  In fact, that’s the big problem gun-grabber groups are finding; while many Americans claim to support gun control, it’s not that big a deal to the vast majority.  In the meantime, Second Amendment Rights supporters consider the issue one of their short list of issues for which they donate time, passion and, occasionally, money.

It’s more accurate to say the left wants to make gun control a big issue among the 30% of the American people who might be inveigled to support it.  And they’re willing to pay big bucks.

The left?  They’ve got money.  The Joyce Foundation and Michael Bloomberg are pouring tens of millions into the issue, largely supporting astroturf groups and buying friendly media coverage around the country (as they’ve done with ProtectMN, Moms Want Action, the MinnPost and MPR here in Minnesota).

And when there’s money, there’s consultants.  “ProtectMN” has hired Richard Carlbom, the guy who ran Public Relations for the Gay Marriage campaign.  It’s not that Carlbom is necessarily a big anti-gunner; nobody I know has run into him in re the issue.  But he’s got a consulting company, and he’s looking to burnish his (well-earned) reputation as a messaging Hessian…

…and there’s just so freaking much money being poured into Minnesota to support stifling liberty, he’d be stupid not to try to grab a piece while he can.

Money brings them out of the woodwork.


There’s not nearly as much money being tossed around Minnesota on the other side, the Human Rights side. But it’s out there. A lot of Minnesotans, concerned about the extremist Metrocrat gun grab agenda that surfaced this past session, are starting to vote with their pocketbooks, as well as their feet and their, well, votes.

Every pro-second-amendment group is courting members very aggressively.

That’s where the story starts.


A few weeks ago, Minnesotans active in Second Amendment issues got this package.  It was led off by a cover letter from Glenn Gruenhagen, a Minnesota state Representative  – who, I stress right now and up front, is one of the absolute best in the Legislature on gun rights, and is utterly solid on the gun rights issue.  Gruenhagen is one of the good guys. 

The entire package – with the recipient’s name redacted – is shown below:

MGR_letter (1) (1).pdf

The package introduces us to “Minnesota Gun Rights”.  They’re soliciting donations to fight the battle for gun rights.

Now, I keep my finger in the air about gun rights in Minnesota. I stay familiar with the players on both sides.

I’ve never heard of Minnesota Gun Rights.

Who is this group?

We’ll come back to that.


Who are the “Iowa Gun Owners” (IGO)?

They make big claims.  The National Association for Gun Rights – which has itself come under, er, fire for barking more than it bites, and is itself under investigation for various ethics complaints – said:

On the local level, NAGR has assisted various grassroots state organizations in everything from helping form the group to professional and financial assistance. These groups include: Wyoming Gun Owners, Iowa Gun Owners, South Dakota Gun Owners, & New Hampshire Firearms Coalition, to name a few. Many of these groups are truly on the front lines when it comes to defending individual’s rights in their home states.


For example…Iowa Gun Owners has been working diligently to get a true Concealed Carry law passed.

The group claims…:

In Iowa, NAGR’s boots-on-the-ground ally Iowa Gun Owners (IGO) introduced the bill in 2011 and came within 2 votes of passing it.

Let’s look at Iowa for a moment.  This video is of Iowa state rep Matt Windschitl.


“This morning I saw an email from a so-called Second Amendment organization.  That organization, in a roundabout way, was trying to take credit for helping to get this [pro Second Amendment] bill to the floor and working it through the process.  It’s not the first time this organization has done that.  I want to be clear to Iowans – I want to be clear to anyone that’s watching this video right now; that organization’s executive director is Aaron Dorr; he’s the executive director of Iowa Gun Owners. Here’s the message; he did not lift a single finger to move this [pro second amendment] legislation forward. In fact, he never even chose to register on the original house file, House File 81. And he did not choose to register on this [pro second amendment] legislation before us now. The organizations that have brought this legislation to us today, to protect Iowans, are the National Rifle Association, the Iowa Firearms Coalition, the Iowa State Sheriffs and Deputies Association, and the Iowa Police Association. Those are the organizations that have spent time and effort to make sure we’re doing right by Iowans. So for those Iowans out there who have been getting these deceptive, misleading emails, rest assured – we are doing your business in an up front, honest manner…

So what?  It’s Iowa, right?

He’s talking about the group “Iowa Gun Owners”.

Yep.  Totally Iowa.

More tomorrow.


UPDATE:  Corrected a couple of typos.  It was early.

Watching The Astroturf Grow: Money Changes Everything

In the past week or so, the news got out that “ProtectMN” – the astroturf group almost entirely funded by Joyce Foundation – is getting some big-name help.

Richard Carlbom, the PR whiz behind the “Vote No” movement re the Marriage Amendment, has started his own consulting operation. 

And as all consulting operations do in every industry, Carlbom and his consultancy are going where the money is. 

Michael Bloomberg is going to spend a metric ton of money on attacking the Second Amendment.  And the Joyce Foundation is picking up the pace in its campaign to fund grassroots astroturf anti-gun groups, buy friendly media and media coverage, and gin up junk-academia to attack gun violence gun ownership.

And Carlbom is bellying up to the fiscal bar; he’ll be working with “ProtectMN”, Rep. Heather Martens’ astroturf gun-grabber group – a relationship made possible by the Joyce Foundation’s grant, reportedly, of $100,000 to “ProtectMN” (via an intermediary cut-out group). 

This is on top of Joyce’s purchase of $50,000 worth of the MinnPost’s “Journalism” on the subject (to say nothing of their sponsorship of Minnesota Public Radio coverage of the issue), and sponsorship of a network of other liberal “community organizer” groups like “Take Action MN”, who share resources with the gun-grabbers. 

Nobody knows if Carlbom has any actual passion for the gun issue.  He could well be just an ideological Hessian.  But if so, he’s a Hessian that “ProtectMN” desperately needs; Heather Martens may be the most inept community organizer in Minnesota political history.  It’s bad enough (for the orcs) that every single substantive thing Martens have ever said is a lie; it’s worse (for them) that pretty much everyone with a right to an opinion knows it.  So Carlbom getting into the issue may or may not be a game-changer – but it’s a line-up change that the orcs have needed to make for over a decade. 

Here’s The Important Part:  Liberals with deep pockets will always fund gun-grabber groups.  They’ll try to put different shades of lipstick on the pig that is suppressing our human right to self defense; they’ll change their spokespeople and their tactics, trying to create something – popular support for gun-grabbing – from nothing. 

There are very few conservatives with deep pockets supporting our human right to self-defense.  And much as the Good Guys would welcome their involvement (and money), it’s not what the issue will turn on.

But with the addition of Carlbom, the gun-grabbers now have several people working full-time to try to sway not just legislators, but your neighbors. 

Against that, the good guys have a bunch of plucky volunteers. 

If every single Minnesotan with a carry permit, all 160,000 of them, would donate $1 a year to the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance – the group that organized the entire grass-roots “Shall Issue” movement in Minnesota – the group could not only fund itself, but have at least one, probably two people working the issue full-time.  Lobbying, building infrastructure, investigating the orc groups, and above all making sure the grass roots – you and me, the Real Americans – can focus our efforts as effectively as possible.

Working together as volunteers, we Real Americans are more than a match for Michael Bloomberg, Representatives Martens and Hausman and Paymar, Senator Latz, Jane Kay and all the rest of the orcs. 

With the aid of a couple of people working the issue for a living?

We could stomp them flat and keep them flat. 

A buck a permit a year. 

We gotta make this happen.

Watching The AstroTurf Grow: “The New Dialog – We Talk, You Shut Up”

This past Friday, I talked with Susie Jones, a reporter from WCCO Radio, about the Gun Grab Summit in North Minneapolis. 

Now, I’m stuck in a bit of a conundrum, myself.  On the one hand, I do seek a civil, grown-up dialog.  As a gun owner, I have a vested interest in making sure my “tribe” – the law-abiding gun owner – acts in a way that credits the responsibility that God gave us and that our Founding Fathers recognized in the Constitution (a responsibility that the record shows we’re really, really good at meeting). 

I also have kids.  And a granddaughter.  Violence is an awful thing.  Protecting against violence is one of the reasons I would be a gun owner, hypothetically.

So curbing violence – with guns, knives, axes, fists, cars, sex organs and every other kind – is Job 1 for me, and for every law-abding gun owner I know. 

On the other hand?  It’s hard to stay adult and civil when dealing with “ProtectMN”, the Joyce-Foundation supported astroturf group that has been campaigning against guns – as opposed to violence – under several names for a couple decades now. 

Part of it is that the group – its’ leader, Representative Heather Martens (DFL HD 67A), speaking as a leader and as an individual – has never, ever uttered a solitary substantive word of truth on the gun issue.  Ever.  Seriously – you can tell Ms. Martens is lying when you see her lips move.  She is the most disingenuous person anywhere in Minnesota public life. 

Yes, worse than Carrie Lucking. 

We are constantly reminded that we need to have a “Dialog” about gun violence. 

And “Dialog” requires honesty.  So I’m going to be honest. 

Monologue And Backstory:  The key to “Dialog” is, of course, discussion between two divergent-to-dissenting points of view.  Otherwise, all you have is a monologue. 

Now, in his conversation with WCCO’s Jones on Friday, “ProtectMN”s Leroy Duncan flatly denied that anyone was told not to show up at the event. 

But at least one executive from the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance responded to ProtectMN’s invitation to Friday’s event; I reprinted Heather Martens’ response to that GOCRA offical here the other day

Now, this is what ProtectMN put up on their Facebook page the other day.  Read it and tell me…:

“It’s time to stop letting our critical national debates be handled by lunatics, and by corporate lobbyists. It’s time for us to take up the mantle of civics and citizenship again, beyond our narrow self-interest.

We need to have a real discussion about the civic duty of gun ownership sooner, rather than later. It’s time for the grownups to start talking, and more importantly, to take action.”

The MN Gun Violence Summit will consist of “grown-ups” talking about how to make our communities safer and reframe the debate about gun policy.

…if all of that Alinskyite framing (“lunatics”, “grown-ups”) sounds like someone looking for a dialog? 

Class Warfare:  Jones noted in her conversation with me that some of the people at the “summit” had complained that the issue was a matter of the plucky, put-upon inner city versus the smug, complacent suburbs – and that shooters just don’t understand life in the inner city.

I refuted them thusly; me.  I live in the Midway.  I’ve had a drive-by shooting in front of my house.  I had a break-in when I was in my house, once upon a time; the sound of my own firearm ended the incident.  Senseless violence?  A four-year-old girl was murdered half a mile from my house, right about the time I had two kids in her age bracket. 

Gun violence affects my city.  My quality of life.  My property value.  Just as much as it does yours, and more than it does those of any of the leadership of “ProtectMN” and “Moms Want Action”. 

And – this is the important part -not a single proposal they’re making, or have ever made, would affect gun violence in the least.

So, Mr. Duncan, please spare us the BS and never, ever play that crap with me. 

And the fact is, many shooters live in the suburbs because decades of DFL mismanagement have left the cities much more dangerous than the subs, the exurbs or Greater Minnesota. 

Indeed, given that Minneapolis and Saint Paul have the lowest incidence of civilian gun ownership in the State and the highest crime rates, perhaps it’s time we considered whether owning guns is a better deterrent to violence than banning them. 

The Potemkin Mission:  But “ProtectMN” isn’t about curbing violence.  Not even a little bit.

Proof:  In the legislative session just passed, most of the Legislature got behind a bill, HF1325, sponsored by Rep. Hilstrom (DFL, some godforsaken Western suburb). The bill would have added mandatory penalties for using a gun to commit a crime, and improved the state’s reporting to the national background check database (a ball the DFL has been dropping for over a decade now)…

…y’know – things that have a record in curbing violence

That’s the mission – right?

Not for “ProtectMN”.  They – Martens and the Metrocrat DFLers who controlled the Legislature – fought like hell against the bill that would address violence with measures that have actually worked around the country, claiming it was “The NRA’s Bill” (which was written by a rep with an “F” rating from the NRA, but whatever).  Instead, they fought for useless fripperies like magazine size restrictions, and yapping about cosmetic features of different guns – things that don’t and have never had the faintest impact on violence at the very most.




So I ask you – who is actually “dealing with violence”?  And who is acting out a fetish over metal objects?

The Takeaways From The “Summit”:  I’d like to address this to my brothers and sisters, my fellow human beings in places like North Minneapolis and the lower East Side. 

There is a “dialog” to be had about gun violence.  And we, your fellow Americans and Minnesotans of the Second Amendment community, are more than ready to have exactly that.  We, like you, want to make your streets, neighborhoods and homes safer – because they’re our streets, neighborhoods and homes, too.

“ProtectMN” doesn’t care about “violence”.  They froth and fume about guys in Lakeville with AR15s – and you know as well as I do (and Heather Martens does not) that they and their guns aren’t the problem. 

It’s the criminals.  The people who couldn’t pass a background check when they were 18, and sure as hell can’t pass one now.

And let the record show that Protect MN fought against the legislation that would attack them, in favor of attacking the law-abiding, in the past session.

And starting in January, they’re going to ramp up that attack. 

More later.

Because Racism

Earlier this week, the Joyce Foundation collected another installment on its payment for the MinnPost’s PR services in pursuit of disarming the American people – in this case, a “Community Voices” column by by Rebecca Lowen and Doug Rossinow, who are listed as “history professors at Metro State”.

Those who fail to learn from history, it’s fair to say, teach history at Metro State.

And if this reflects the current state of the victim-disarmament movement, it’d seem their strategy has shifted to “ad homina” and “making things up”.

Continue reading

False Flag

Speaking of gun rights – GOCRA sends an advisory:

There is a new astroturf group calling themselves “American Rifle + Pistol Association.” (Here’s the URL — I recommend against giving them PageRank by posting it, though: )

And I won’t post it as a link, for precisely that reason.

They are Obama-cheering, gun-control-supporting, MSNBC-watching, Moms-Demand-Action-loving, MAIG-parroting gun banners.

Don’t be fooled. DO spread the word.

Every few years, the left tries to float one potemkin “gun group” or another.  I can remember at least three over the years – and the ARPA is no exception

Here are the screenshots that show [Peter Vogt] the Connecticut converted to Texan Chairman of American Rifle & Pistol Association who is an Obama supporter who is pushing Bloomberg/MAIG’s gun control campaigns while helping to promote Moms Demand Action, a group trying to pressure companies to ban lawful concealed carry so gun owners can’t carry in public anymore and convince gun retailers to stop selling the most popular guns in the country.

They can’t beat us, so they’re going to try to co-opt us.

And they think this is the first time we’ve seen them try it.


Who coulda seen this coming?

Representative Michael Paymar got an op-ed placed in the PiPress last week.  He used the space to complain about the way the session turned out for his gun control agenda.

Now, as I noted a few weeks back, Paymar has settled into the legacy of Wes Skogland – who I once nicknamed “Lying Sack of Garbage” for his facility and fluency at lying about guns, gun laws, and the law-abiding gun owner.

And this op-ed is no exception.

The legislative session concluded, sadly, with very little progress on preventing gun violence.

Well, no.

The murder rate in Minnesota – with and without guns – has plunged over the past 20 years, and especially the past ten, as Minnesota’s gun laws “liberalized”.  Minnesota is a much safer place today than it was in 1993.

That’s progress!

But that’s not the kind of progress Skoglund…um, Paymar – wants.

So what did Paymar want?  And what was the purpose of this Op Ed?

It’s simple:  to deceive the people – especially the low-information voters the DFL depends on.

The Magic Disappearing Months:   His first complaint is that his raft of bills just didn’t get enough time:

I’m disappointed that legislators didn’t have an opportunity to vote, or even debate, sensible gun control measures like background checks.

Well, yes.  They did.


The DFL-controlled legislature spent endless weeks debating gun control bills in committee.  They started in late January, and ran into April.  The DFL launched nearly a dozen gun bills – everything from background checks to re-jiggering the concealed carry law to confiscating guns with magazines larger than seven rounds.  There were many hearings.

Paymar just didn’t like what he heard.  Minnesotans turned out in force against his agenda.

It was a show of resolution even the DFL couldn’t ignore.

The real debate – the one in Minnesota’s homes, streets, businesses, VFWs – has been held, and resolved.  The DFL lost.

“Look At My Bloody Shirt!”:  Paymar next tries to turn to numbers – and, again, lies about ’em:

It is not surprising the public is cynical about politicians and political parties. Every year, 12,000 people die from firearm homicides and 18,000 more from firearm suicides, and yet, our elected officials continue to abdicate their responsibilities.

Again – according to what?

The firearm murder rate, nationwide and in Minnesota, is a fraction of what it was when Michael Paymar’s talking points were written in the eighties.


After the unimaginable massacre of 20 children at Sandy Hook and the shootings at Accent Signage in Minneapolis, a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, a movie theatre in Aurora Colorado, a political gathering in Arizona, a college campus in Virginia, a high school in Colorado, and the random shooting in Oakdale — not to mention the thousands of gun deaths in our cities — I thought we had reached a tipping point.

And we did reach that tipping point.  It was over a decade ago, when a majority of  Americans realized that none of the DFL’s gun bills would have prevented Sandy Hook, Accent, or any of the other shootings that the DFL waved about like bloody shirts in the hearing rooms.  None of them would have saved a single life in any of those atrocities.

And most Americans – not the low-information NPR-listening hamsters that vote for Paymar, but the real ones – know this.

And that was the tipping point.

Follow The Money:   Paymar notes that:

The hearings were informative, demonstrating that preventing mass shootings and reducing gun violence in our communities are both challenging and complex... We can’t ignore the conditions that give rise to gang activity and violent crime. We can’t ignore the glorification of violence as a means to settle conflicts.

Although ignore them we did.  Why?  It’d be easy to say “because the key stakeholders in creating each of those problems – our disastrous urban education system, an urban culture that glorifies violence, and a Hollywood that rakes in billions from glorifying mayhem, are respectively key Democrat power blocs, constituencies and donors”.

But just because it’s easy, is it necessarily wrong?

Details, Details:  Paymar moves on to his final attempt at legislation:

I authored the Gun Violence Prevention Act. This legislation would have given law enforcement the ability to deny a permit to purchase handguns or semi-automatic military-style assault weapons if the applicant was determined to be a danger to self or others. The bill would have tightened up laws on “straw purchases” of firearms that often end up in the commission of crimes. The centerpiece of the bill was universal background checks — extending checks to gun-shows, Internet sales and private sales. Sales to relatives and hunting rifles were excluded.

The bill also removed due process by denying appeals to those wrongly denied, by giving law enforcement sweeping power to act like shrinks, and adding a level of bureaucracy to handing down firearms to ones next of kin and, above all, required all firearms transfers to go through federally licensed dealers – requiring a payment of a fee to both the police and the dealer, a system that’ll add a minimum of $50 to the price of every firearm, and likely more, as a substantially similar law did in California.

While criminals found other black-market means of getting firearms, avoiding the background check system completely – because criminals don’t work within laws, much less obey them – the poor were even further priced out of the market.

Reductio Ad Paymar  Paymar continues:

The NRA and its affiliate organizations claim that background checks are an infringement on Second Amendment rights. They claim that background checks won’t prevent crime or mass shootings — that only law-abiding citizens will be inconvenienced. If that’s the case, then perhaps we shouldn’t require background checks on any purchase of a firearm…But in 1999, after the mass shooting at Columbine High School, the NRA’s leader, Wayne La Pierre, told Congress, “It’s reasonable to provide mandatory instant background checks for every sale at every gun show. No loopholes for anyone.” What has changed?

Here’s what’s changed; the Democrats.

Twenty years ago, it was possible for gun rights supporters to find common cause with the likes of, for crying out loud, Paul Freaking Wellstone.  In the nineties, the NICS system was set up via the bipartisan efforts of people who actually wanted to deal with crime, rather than disarm society.  The NICS system – supported by the NRA as well as liberals – actually made an impact in crime.

The Democrats – especially Paymar and the DFL, wasted months of legislative time this session pursuing bills that would never have had any effect on crime.

“All My Friends Say I’m Right!”:    Paymar reels off an unsurprising list of supporters:

The Supreme Court has been clear: Reasonable gun restrictions do not infringe on the Second Amendment. Polls show that 70 percent to 80 percent of Minnesotans support background checks — Democrats, Republicans, metro and rural. The Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association, Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, neighborhood groups ravaged by gun violence and Gov. Dayton all support background checks.

The poll was an absurd push poll; of course people support background checks – in the abstract.  I support background checks, in the abstract.

The devil is in the details.  The bill Paymar offered was rife with opportunities for abuse, and one that even the dumbest SEIU member could see would have no meaningful effect on crime.

“Why Don’t All You Child-Killing Scumbags Want To Have A Meaningful Dialogue With Me?”:    Paymar closes with a call to dialogue:

Also, upon reflection, I wonder if there is room for dialogue and common ground between both sides on this volatile issue. I was vilified by some for my advocacy for gun control. But, when I had chance to talk to gun-rights folks face to face and with my legislative colleagues (especially from rural districts), we found areas of commonality. We all care about our children’s wellbeing. We all want to keep firearms out of the hands out of people who shouldn’t possess them. We all want our communities to be safe places. Is it possible to end the demonization of each other? Is it possible to listen to different perspectives? We can and must find solutions to prevent gun violence.

As one of the people who vilified Michael Paymar with remorseless accuracy, I’ll answer that.

You want dialogue, Representative Paymar?  Excellent.  I’m more than up for it.  Let’s talk. Perhaps we’ll both learn something.

Your interest in “dialogue” might seem more sincere might seem more authentic if you hadn’t just supported Representative Alice Hausman’s HF241, which called for the confiscation of firearms with magazines of more than seven rounds.  Not background checks; confiscation.

It might seem a little more sincere if your own efforts at “Dialogue” reached out to people other than fellow legislators and people inside the clubby little anti-gun clique that you surround yourself with:

Jane Kay, Heather Martens and Rep. Paymar after a gun bill hearing.

That’s Heather Martensleader and (it’s reasonable to suspect) sole member of “Protect Minnesota”, a woman who’s yet to make a single true, non-numeric statement about firearms.  Ever.

And next to her, Jane Kay, who tweeted during a hearing:

You want “dialogue?” Talk with the real people involved in this issue. Not satirical cartoons like Heather Martens. Not hate-choked extremists like Kay. The real people.

Until you do, all your talk of “dialogue” is just vapor.

In fact, I’ll meet you halfway.  Please come on the Northern Alliance Radio Network one of these next Saturdays.  It’ll be a real dialogue – complete with an articulate opponent.

A State Without Limits

This one’s important, and needs some action on your part to prevent a corrosive overreach of government power.

I also got this one from GOCRA yesterday; it’s not a “gun rights” thing, but it’s an important civil liberty issue, and it needs your attention:

Minneapolis Police (as well as many other departments) use automated license plate readers to log millions of times, dates, and locations of cars every month. They know where you were, and they keep this data as long as they want.

A proposed law, House File 474 (and Senate companion SF385), would force police departments to immediately delete data on non-suspect cars (like yours).

This bill is scheduled for a vote [today] in the House. If you think that the police shouldn’t track the every move of innocent citizens, ask your state senator representative to support HF474/SF385.

Please get on the horn and contact your Senator and Representative, and ask them – politely – to vote “Yes” on SF 385 and HF 474.

The police have no need to be able to track everyone, everywhere, all the time.


Accept No Substitutes

Gun rights people, listen up and pass the word.

There’s an email going around from a “gun rights” group from out of state, soliciting donations and stirring the pot against legislators, including several who were invaluable in the session’s real big news – no gun control bills passed the legislature this session.

Here are some excerpts from the email:

After House Speaker Paul Thissen (DFL – Minneapolis) declared that there would be no gun bill a couple weeks ago, suddenly one anti-gun bill was rushed through the Senate Finance Committee…this anti-gun bill passed the State Senate with the blessing of key Senate REPUBLICANS.

It’s SF-235 by anti-gun State Senator Ron Latz (DFL – St. Louis Park)…some supposedly “pro-gun” Minnesota lawmakers, including State Senator Julianne Ortman (R – Chanhassen) have already called for much more draconian anti-gun laws.

Ortman, herself was even an original co-author of this DFL led bill until mid-February…Now, we’re hearing cries for “fixing” this bill in Conference Committee. That’s code for tacking on as much gun control as they can get away with in the waning days of session.

And thanks to a few compromise-loving Senate Republicans, they have every reason to believe they can do it…worse yet, Ortman, along with other committed “moderates” like Sen. Julie Rosen (R – Fairmont) led A STAMPEDE of RINOS in the Senate who voted for this anti-gun bill yesterday…if the gun-grabbers have already corrupted even supposedly “pro-gun” Republican Senators into PROPOSING and VOTING for this nonsense, mark my words, virtually no Minnesota House member’s vote is off the table.

For Freedom,

Dudley Brown

Executive Vice President

National Association of Gun Rights

If you’ve never heard of the NAGR – join the club.  I’m not aware that they have any actual membership, had anyone at the Capitol, or mobilized any of the avalanche of Real Americans’ phone calls that stalled the orcs’ gun-grabs this session.

And it’s for sure that “Dudley Brown” hasn’t a clue what actually happened; the attacks on Representative Hilstrom and Senator Ortman alone show you they don’t know what they’re talking about.

The Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance – who actually did put boots in the Capitol, organize cataracts of public feedback, and negotiated with real legislators for real policy improvements – sent out this email in response, listed below in its entirety:

There is an inflammatory email being sent to Minnesotans by an out-of-state individual who has never actually accomplished anything for Minnesota gun rights (or those of any other state that we can see).

The real purpose of this email is the same as all the rest of the emails this individual sends: to solicit donations.

GOCRA and its friends in both the House and the Senate, including long-time gun rights champions Sen. Warren Limmer and Rep. Tony Cornish, as well as gun rights bill sponsors Sen. Julianne Ortman and Rep. Debra Hilstrom, spent hours in good faith negotiations with SF235’s author, Sen. Ron Latz.

The result was a delete-all amendment that completely replaced the original bill, substituting a very different bill that was deserving of GOCRA support.

SF235 has no gun control. It does not send “mental health” data or gun owner fingerprints to the Feds. To say that it does, one must be dangerously ignorant, or a liar.

GOCRA, the group that brought Shall-Issue carry to Minnesota, has been protecting and extending gun rights in Minnesota for a quarter century.

We were at the Capitol for the whole session, and our lawyers (with a combined 70+ years of proven gun rights advocacy in MInnesota) carefully scrutinized every word of this legislation, as well as the more than a dozen bills we sent to defeat this session.

These Second Amendment supporters — DFLers Hilstrom and Saxhaug, as well as Republicans Ortman, Limmer, and Cornish — deserve your support. They’ve earned it with their actions.

Who you gonna believe?  The real thing, or a donation-sucking carpetbagger?

A Tale Of Two Bills

The MNDFL, as part of their languid dawdling in social issues this past session, introduced two deeply controversial sets of bills.

One was the raft of gun grab legislation that came out at the top of the session – everything from magazine restrictions and confiscations to background checks.  As we chronicled in this space, the bills spawned an epic turnout of opponents, and the re-mobilization of the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance.  Notwithstanding this, and overwhelming disapproval in public feedback, the DFL kept on pressing to try to squeedge one form of stupid, crime-non-affecting gun grab or another through the legislature, until the effort finally petered out (with a bill that expanded the state’s data reporting, which the NRA and GOCRA favored all along, and which may actually have a useful effect on crime, and which the local leftymedia is treating as a non-event, since they wanted confiscations, dammit).

Another?  The daycare/Personal Care Assistant (PCA) union jamdown.  Even though opposition among the public and especially among the subjects of the forced unionization opposed the bill by cataclysmic margins, the DFL jammed the bills through, and the jamdown looks likely to become law – raising daycare costs and crimping availability in a market that’s already among the tightest and most expensive in the country.

Both of the bills were deeply stupid.  Both encountered massive public resistance.

One ended in a humiliating defeat for the Metro DFL.  The other was an embarassment, but looks likely, barring a miracle, to become law.

What’s the difference?

No major DFL donors are going to be getting millions and millions of dollars from gun grabs.

This Is What Democracy Looks Like

The Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance sent out a press release yesterday:

Senator Ron Latz (DFL-St. Louis Park) announced last night that he intended to resurrect a gun bill this morning, after the leadership had announced that there would be no gun bills heard this year..

We were able to mobilize a quick reaction from our Facebook page (, and we worked this morning with Latz and other legislators to ensure that only good language got through the House finance committee.

We are at the Capitol this afternoon, keeping an eye on things and making sure nothing bad gets added in conference committee.

I’m going to interrupt here.

Know how all those idiot liberals say “You gunneez don’t want ANNY gun laws?”   Of course, you know it’s BS; we support laws that punish criminals, or prevent them from getting guns.  I’m at a loss to think of a single “gun law” anywhere in the country that works (defined as “reduces violent crime”) that wasn’t supported the the Second Amendment movement.

No exception here:

 The streamlined bill contains some genuinely positive improvements to the NICS system, which should help ensure that prohibited people are actually entered into the national system — and removed when their prohibitions are over.

The fact that the Sen. Latz and the committee voted only for a bill that met with GOCRA approval is a testament to the influence that YOU have at the legislature. Your voices, emails, calls (and maroon shirts!) reminded our civil servants who they work for!

I want to give this extreme emphasis:

In a session where the DFL has complete control, and the Metro DFL had the power to steamroll anything they want if people just stayed asleep, the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance was among very few groups to stop the orcs cold.

As a result, Minnesota’s gun laws improved in spite of the efforts of the Metro DFL, the astroturf “gun safety” lobby, and Rep. Heather Martens.  (Presuming, of course, the Latz bill is passed and signed).  All of the “gun safety” lobby’s stupid, fascist gun-grab noodling was defeated.  Humiliated.

This is what grassroots politics is all about; regular schnooks beating back the plutocrats, the Kenwood condo pinks, the Washington special interests.

It was done with a staggering amount of work, and a whole lot of commitment by a whole lot of people.  And they need more.  If you can, join the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance.

Because while the earth opened up to swallow the orcs in Lord of the Rings, here we’ve gotta beat them the old fashioned way.

Victory For Now

DFL Speaker of the House Thissen has pulled whatever was left of the Metrocrat gun grab agenda off the table.

Several Democrats, mostly in the metropolitan area, were pushing for increased background checks for gun purchases but that legislation faced opposition from gun rights groups and rural Democrats.

Thissen says he decided to shelve the bill because neither side was willing to budge.

“Both sides of the issue are still not willing to come to a reasonable middle ground so I don’t think there’s a bill that can pass the Minnesota House of Representatives this year.,” Thissen said.

Senate Majority Leader Bakk also pulled the remaining odds and ends out of the Senate agenda – and in so doing, perhaps unwittingly showed the problem the DFL has on this issue:

DFL Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk says the Senate won’t vote on a bill now that the House has decided not to act. He says the NRA and other gun rights groups were effective in their lobbying efforts.

“Public opinion would seem to support doing something on background checks,” Bakk said. “But I think when you measure the e-mail that many members receive, that public opinion didn’t weigh out in what their constituent contacts were. It was quite the contrary.”

So let’s get this straight; while official big-institutional polling showed “support” (in terms of numbers of people who said “yes” to “should we do more background checks”), in terms of actual feedback from the public it wasn’t even close?


Chalk one up for the good guys.  The Gun Grab Agenda is dead in Saint Paul for this year. Kudos to GOCRA and, after years and years of sitting more or less on the sidelines on this debate in Minnesota, the NRA for resurrecting one of the great grassroots political organizations in the history of this state.

Take a break (to the extent Federal efforts will let you).  Rest up a little.  I have a hunch we’ll need everyone back on deck next January.

Ten Years

It was ten years ago yesterday that the Minnesota State Senate passed the Minnesota Personal Protection Act, making Minnesota a “Shall Issue” state.

I was there, back during this blog’s infancy.  I sat in the gallery in the Senate and watched as the Metro DFL did what they always do on Second Amendment issues; lie as fast as they can.  I cringed a little as the Senate Metrocrat DFLers came back from recess theatrically donning flak jackets to express the fear that was really their only message.

That and crushing, embarassing, vindictive provincial ignorance; I cringed more when I tried to talk with the Code Pinkos that showed up.  The Women Who Lunch With Style made quite an impression with the media, who gave them slavish coverage, then as now – but they were embarrassingly ignorant about the law involved‘  No, I do mean ignorant.

And the media was as in the bag for the orcs then as they are today; indeed, today the connection is financial as well as ideological, with the MinnPost being the recipient of big money from the anti-gun-zealot Joyce Foundation .

The Metrocrat orcs predicted blood in the streets; Wes “The Original Lying Sack of Garbage” Skoglund claimed he feared being stalked by “gang-bangers with carry permits”, apparently having access to a list of gang-bangers who had clean criminal records who felt the need to pay $100 and get training to use the guns they already have illegally.

They also predicted maybe 90,000 Minnesotans would get permits eventually.

Today the total is somewhere over 140,000.  And in ten years, there’s been one unjustifiable homicide by a post-2003 carry permit holder, a rate of .036/100,00, as opposed to the state’s rate of around 1.4/100,000; Minnesota carry permittees are roughly 40 times safer than the average Minnesotan.

As in the 39 other shall issue states, the streets didn’t run red with blood.  Indeed, not much happened; nearly no murders, exactly two justifiable self-defense shootings (which are not “good” things, but certainly beat the alternative), this one and this one.

After ten years, the Minnesota Citizens Personal Protection Act’s legacy is this:

  • Reduced violence: Minnesota’s murder rate is down nearly half since 2003; violent crime in general, nearly 15%.  That’s not entirely the responsibility of the MPPA – but it’s the exact opposite of what the DFL-Media noise machine warned us about.
  • Grassroots Matter:  The battle to pass the MPPA mobilized a huge army that represents a silent majority; people on both sides of the aisle, or no side, who care about human rights and civil liberties enough to get involved in an abstruse issue, and donate to it heavily with time, treasure and energy.  The victory of the MPPA – from no traction at all to victory between 1995 and 2003 – was among the great bits of genuine grassroots politics in Minnesota history.
  • The Road Goes On Forever: And remember – always, remember – the way The People, regular workadaddy, hugamommy schlumps with day jobs and mid-size late-model used cars, dwelling far behind the fashion curve and well outside NPR’s target market demos, humiliated the elite of the DFL, Representatives Paymar and Martens and Hausman and Senator Ron “I Went To Harvard” Latz, providing conservatives one of precious few whiffs of victory in a dismal session, splitting the DFL into two, providing one of the most priceless images of the year; a helpless hapless extremist faux-elite metrocrat orc declaring majority to support to a crowd where the good guys outnumbered them 40:1.  Every time.

The troops at GOCRA – helped, this year, by the NRA – won the victory ten years ago, and continue to defend your human right to protect your self, your family, your property and your democracy today.  If you’re not a GOCRA member and you care about protecting your human right of self-defense, please sign up now.

To the orcs?  Keep fearmongering, Representatives Paymar and Hausman.  Keep lying, Representative Martens and County Attorney Backstrom; keep sucking the filthy toes of the heirs of Stalin and Pol Pot, Doug Grow.  We may be mere peasants, but we beat you ten years ago, we humiliated you this year, and we will always beat you.

To the good guys?  Thanks, and happy anniversary.

The Emperor’s New Polls – What Are Words For?

Yesterday, we looked at a piece by Joe Loveland in the Twin Cities leftyblog Wry Wing Politics.  WWP rates my ultimate endorsement for a leftyblog – its author isn’t in line for a harassment restraining order and remedial logic class.

That’s all to the good.

But he cited a series of media polls about the public’s opinion on Universal Background Checks, listed off the top-line numbers…:

  • CNN/ORC (89% support background checks)
  • Quinnipiac (91% support background checks)
  • Morning Joe/Marist (87% support background checks)
  • CBS (90% support background checks)
  • Fox News (85% support background checks)
  • ABC/Washington Post (90% support background checks)
  • Pew/USA Today (83% support background checks)
  • University of Connecticut (69% support background checks)
  • Gallup (91% support background checks)
  • Associated Press-GfK (84% support background checks)

…as dispositive evidence that the public overwhelmingly favors universal background checks.

And unlike many leftybloggers, Loveland knows that polls aren’t, themselves, iron-clad.  He takes a whack at a pre-emptive defense of the results:

For those who quibble about question wording, these polls all asked the question a bit differently.

“A bit differently”.

Let’s take a look at the questions asked in the individual polls that Loveland cited:

  • CNN/ORC (89%) – The 89% response came from asking if the respondent supports background checks “If the buyer is trying to purchase a gun from a gun store or other business that sells guns”.  Other questions came in much lower.
  • Quinnipiac (91%) – “Do you support or oppose requiring background checks for all gun buyers?”
  • Morning Joe/Marist (87%) – “Do you support or oppose legislation that would require background checks for private gun sales and sales at gun shows?”
  • CBS (90%) – “Do you favor or oppose a federal law requiring background checks on all potential gun buyers?”
  • Fox News (85%) – There were several questions; the one getting 85% was whether the respondent favored “Requiring criminal background checks on all gun buyers, including those buying at gun shows and private sales”
  • ABC/Washington Post (90%) – “Would you support or oppose a law requiring background checks on people buying guns at gun shows?”
  • Pew/USA Today (83%) – Asked if the respondent supported “making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks”.
  • University of Connecticut (69%) – asked if the responded supports “a law which would require background checks before people – including gun dealers – could buy guns at gun shows”, which is, by the way, borderline-incoherent.
  • Gallup (91%) – “Require criminal background checks for all gun sales”
  • Associated Press-GfK (84%) – Asked if US should  “Establish a federal standard requiring background checks for those trying to buy guns at a gun show”
  • Strib “Minnesota Poll”/Mason Dixon (72%) – “Do you support or oppose a universal background check on all gun sales, including those sold at gun shows?”

Loveland’s right.  They’re a “bit” different, all right.

And yet they are all exactly the same.  The questions – all of them – float a high-level proposal  (“Should we have background checks at gun shows?”) with no further context.

Like the pro-gun-control push poll from the 1980s I cited yesterday, which showed 85% of the people “supported gun control”, it was a hopelessly broad question – a gauzy proposal that gave the less-informed respondent no context that would help them actually understand the issue beyond the top-level sound bites – far from enough information to give an informed answer.

Valid questions on the subject, questions that provided the context needed for informed answers on the subject, would go something like this:

  • “Do you support universal background checks at gun shows knowing that the checks create a paper trail leading to every gun and gun buyer in the country – which is de-facto registration?”
  • “Do you support universal background checks, even though criminals don’t subject themselves to background checks of any sort?”
  • “Do you support universal background checks, even though violent gun crime has dropped by over 40% in the past 20 years, and the drop has accelerated over the past five years, after the sale of 70 million firearms in the US?”
  • “Do you support universal background checks, knowing that in California similar legislation has added about $100 to the cost of every firearm, pricing poor people out of the market for guns to defend themselves, their families and their homes?”

Yeah, I know – there’s bias in the wording of my questions; I’d be happy to work with a poll writer on the actual verbiage. But sometimes you need a biased question to lead you to the truth, and sometimes an “unbiased” question, like the polling questions, are biased by omission (and the uncritical reporting on them is biased by commission).

At any rate, I’m going to hazard an informed guess here; if people know the real-life consequences of “universal background checks” (they oppress the law-abiding, hamper the poor and are useless in preventing violent crime), the results might just drop below “landslide” levels.

Because the fact is, people know this already.  Second Amendment rights have expanded over the past twenty years, and violent crime has plummeted.   Obama’s gun-control push has largely fizzled; “background checks”, useless as they are, are about all that’s left, outside the gun-grabber liberal havens on the coasts.

Anyway – back to Minnesota, and Loveland’s assertions:

For those who argue methodology, these polls all reached a different randomized sample of respondents, and relied on different methodologies.

Perhaps they did; the geographic, demographic and ethnographic details weren’t included in any of the links Loveland provided.   

For those who worry about sponsorship bias, these polls were sponsored by a wide variety of news outlets and academic institutions.

And yet the questions they uncritically asked were all nearly exactly identical.

For those who stress that polls are blunt instruments, these polls did not find slim margins that conceivably could be slightly off.

That’s correct.  They found overwhelming support for a hopelessly broad question that, by its nature, filtered all possible context from the results that were reported.  

Of course, this isn’t just about polling “science” to Loveland.  The mission is to try to undercut the Minnesota GOP, which has been gratifyingly solid on Second Amendment issues this session.  (In-line thought bubble: Where the hell was that sense of purpose last session on the freaking stadium? Or in 2011 on the budget negotiations? Hello?)

Make no mistake, on the issue of universal gun background checks, Minnesota Republicans are choosing to represent the will of NRA lobbyists over the will of the overwhelming majority of Minnesotans, including gun owners, Republicans, Independents and Greater Minnesota citizens.

“NRA Lobbyists” are the great lefty boogeymen.  The heavy lifting on gun issues this session, as between 1995-2005 in passing Concealed Carry, has been GOCRA – the most successful grass roots group in Minnesota politics, and the grass-rootsiest successful group in Minnesota politics to boot.  It has no paid lobbyists.  It has no paid anything.  It’s an email mailing list and over 20,000 Minnesotans who write letters and make phone calls.

Legislators report that phone calls and emails against the DFL’s gun grab legislation run about between 50-100:1 against the gun grab supporters.

And Minnesotans are voting with their feet; 135,000 Minnesotans now have their carry permits, and at current pace there will be 200,000 within a year.

None of those figures gives you any more context than the questions in any of the polling Loveland cites.  Or, to be fair, any less.

Frankly, Minnesotans, Republicans just aren’t just not that into you.

And given that the “you” really doesn’t exist outside of a push-poll wording card trick, they’ve got the right idea.


As of yesterday, 132,552 Minnesotans have current, valid carry permits.

And as the Gun Owners CIvil Rights Alliance notes, the rate of applications and issuances is zooming almost geometrically, even as the bobbleheads in our legislature try to ratchet back our Second Amendment rights:

The increase over last month (7,213), is also a record, breaking last month’s record (5,765), which broke the record set the month before that (4,800), which broke the record set a couple months after the carry law passed in 2003 (3918).

And if that nearly-vertical total line doesn’t smack you in the head, perhaps this chart – the monthly delta in permits in circulation – will:

Among Minnesotans who are over 21 and have clean criminal records, 132,552 is right around 3% of the entire population.  That’s huge; the House Research staff back in 2003 figured maybe 70-90,000 Minnesotans would get permits, eventually.  We’re almost double that now, and the more Michael Paymar and Ron Latz talk, the faster people sign up for their card.

And if each of them could pony up a buck, GOCRA could afford to have a full-time lobbyist at the Capitol to make sure Heather Martens’ lies were being countered in real-time.

The lessons are obvious:

  • Minnesotans – the smart ones, anyway – aren’t fooled.  The DFL majority, despite Governor Messinger Dayton’s blandishments, is run by gun grabbers.
  • If you are a law-abiding citizen, you should get your permit.  Even if you never plan to carry a firearm; it’s a good primer in the law, and every permit granted to a law-abiding citizen sends the right message to Senator Latz and Representatives Paymar, Hausman and Martens; we’re not the problem; we’re not fooled; we’re not going anywhere, and we’re not going down without a fight.
  • You should join GOCRA.  The Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance is the single most successful grass-roots political organization in Minnesota (emphasis on Grass Roots; GOCRA isn’t supported by plutocrats with deep pockets, or foundation money) today.  It’s like a “Spanky and Our Gang” movie come to life, a bunch of regular guys and gals who got together and have, over the past 15 years or so, moved mountains.   And they need all us Real Americans (people who care about all ten amendments in the Bill of Rights) to beat back the orcs.  Come on out, there’s plenty of room.
  • It’s a great time to become an activist.  There may be things in life more fun than being in a room with a couple of hundred like-minded fellow freedom fighters, watching half a dozen bobbleheaded orc-sympathizers wallowing in their ignorance.  But few of those other things are this inexpensive!

Now is the time!

The DFL/Media/Anti-Gun Hot Tub Party

When you’re a conservative, distrust of the media – like most large institutions – is part and parcel of the job.

You probably accept that, for whatever reason – from systemic bias to cultural confirmation bias to being paid off by George Soros – that the media has a comprehensive bias toward the left.

And you notice it on some issues more than others.   For example, you notice that anti-gun groups – for example, “Protect Minnesota”, led by Representative Heather Martens (DFL – 66A), a woman who has never, not once, uttered a substantively accurate or true original statement about guns or the Second Amendment – gets breathless, slavish coverage from the Twin Cities media, whose mania for “balance” obscures, in their coverage, the fact that the pro-Second-Amendment movement includes thousands of actual activists, while Martens’ group and the other antis muster…

…well, Martens and about a dozen of her pals.

And it doesn’t take a political rocket scientist (?) to notice that while their groups have virtually no electoral clout, Martens is apparently a big enough cheese among DFLers on Capitol Hill that she gets treated like, well, a Representative herself.

So after the hearings broke up last night, I watched who went where for a bit.

After he got done with the media, Rep. Paymar lit his afterburners and ran for the bleachers to meet Representative Martens and Jane Kay from Action Moms:

Kay, Martens and Paymar, talking about how much clout they have when those Million Moms finally show up. Someday. Honest.

DFL stenographer and former Strib columnist Doug Grow – now with DFL PR shop MinnPost – painted Jane Kay’s toenails:

Grow, Kay

Hey, maybe his story about last night won’t be pre-written!

And at the end of the night, you had pretty much every anti-gun activist in town gathered with the DFL PR coalition:

Grow, Kay, Nick “I’m Not The DFL’s Monkey” Coleman (from “The Uptake”), a staff guy and Martens talking, presumably, about what a bunch of wingnuts their opposition are.

Us gunnies? We had the fun down front:

Second Amendment attorney David Gross mixing it up with an anti who claimed we should “learn our history”, that firearms confiscation had nothing to do with the Holocaust. The anti, by the way, reportedly had walked up to the child of one of the GOCRA members in attendance and said “You’ll grow up to be a better person than your father” at a hearing last week. These people ooze class, don’t they?

Same as it ever was.  Back next week.

The “Meh” Gun Bill

I went to the Capitol last night for the House Public Safety Finance Committee hearings on Michael Paymar’s “HF 237”, better known as “The Bad Gun Bill”, a bill rife with nannystate abuse-fodder.

The rest of the story?  It’s got a lot of photos, and I don’t want the entire blog to load like a dog, so the rest of the story is after the jump.

See you there!

Continue reading

The Incredible Floating DFL Committee Meeting

When the subject is the Second Amendment, the DFL has a long standing pattern of moving committee meetings around, largely to keep non-DFL constituencies from being able to drive in from Greater Minnesota.

And they’re doing it again.

The Public Safety Committee hearing originally scheduled for this morning at 10AM has been pushed to 7 tonight.  Downside; people who made special arrangements to be there this morning – which most of us Second Amendment people have to do to get to these things – are screwed.  They’ll be doing whatever it takes to try to find some bilious rationalization to pass the stupid Paymar bill – supported only by Metrocrat extremists – and ignore the Hilstrom bill, supported by Real Americans on both sides of the aisle.

Good news?  I’ll be there.  And so should you.  Here are the details:  the Real Americans are meeting starting at 5:00 p.m. outside the Room 10 at the State Office Building, just west-southwest of the Capitol. If you can, wear a maroon shirt, or better yet, a GOCRA t-shirt if you have (or can score) one.

And call the committee members.  This info is via GOCRA; they are…:

Representative John Ward (DFL)


Thank Rep. Ward for his past support of your gun rights and encourage him to resist pressure from metro gun banners.


Representative Shannon Savick (DFL)



Rep. Savick is a rural DFLer who needs to be reminded that her constituents will not tolerate new gun control.


Representative Steve Simon (DFL)


Rep. Simon is a smart, principled lawyer. Remind him that the Supreme Court has affirmed the right to keep and bear arms as an individual right, and that stripping due process doesn’t make us more free or more safe.


Representative Brian Johnson (R)



Rep. Johnson is new at the legislature this year, and will be under a lot of pressure to cave to gun control. Tell him to stand firm for our rights.


Then, call and email your OWN senator and representative and give them the same message.


Good House bill: HF1325 (Hilstrom)

Bad Senate bill: HF237 (Paymar)


Good Senate bill: SF1369 (Ortman)

Bad Senate bill: SF458 (Latz)

Once More Unto The Breach

Another Tuesday, another hearing:


Tomorrow (Tuesday, March 19) at 10 a.m., the House Public Safety Committee will hear and vote of HF237, Rep, Paymar’s Punish Gun Owners Act.

We need to show up in large numbers to tell the House members to REJECT the infringing bill and instead hold a vote on Rep. Hilstrom’s Criminal Control bill, HF1325.

Please show up as early as possible for good seats, and wear a maroon shirt (or your GOCRA shirt, if you have one!)

The meeting will be held in Room 10 of the State Office Building.

I can’t make it, but if you’re anywhere near the Capitol I certainly hope you can.  And make sure you join GOCRA – the single most effective advocate in Minnesota for the law-abiding gun owner, and perhaps one of the most powerful grass-roots political organizations in the state.